7 - 9 November 2024 denkmal
18/10/2022 denkmal

denkmal Conference Programme: Climate Protection and Cultural Heritage Preservation Are Inextricably Linked

The denkmal conference programme (24 to 26 November 2022 in Leipzig) is regarded as the most comprehensive educational event in the entire industry. Offering numerous high-profile events and addressing many specialist subjects from the fields of monument conservation and restoration, this leading European trade fair provides the most significant information and discussion platform for industry professionals from both home and abroad. This year, climate change will be one of the central topics. The fair will address the question of how climate change can affect monuments as well as offer a look at the significant contribution existing buildings can make to climate protection.

There are no longer any areas of business and society that can afford to ignore the challenges of climate change. The coming years will be dominated by issues such as resource conservation, energy efficiency and sustainability. At a political level, the European Union has set a goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and laid out a corresponding roadmap in the European Green Deal. This is supported by the German federal goals defined in the government coalition agreement. Experts in the industry believe that monument conservation and restoration should be given particular emphasis within this political framework.

High-Profile Symposium for Discussion on All Aspects of Cultural Heritage Preservation and Sustainability

By its very definition, monument preservation involves sustainability and the conservation of resources. To support its integration into plans for achieving political and social targets, dialogue is urgently needed amongst keepers of cultural heritage, preservationists, experts and specialised politicians. The symposium entitled "Preserving Cultural Heritage with a View to the Demand for Climate-Friendly Sustainability" hopes to contribute to this. The event will be hosted by Europa Nostra in cooperation with the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, the German Foundation for Monument Protection (DSD) and the Berlin Monument Authority (Landesdenkmalamt Berlin).

Among other topics, the symposium will examine the „European Cultural Heritage Green Paper“ published in March 2021, which highlights the significance of existing buildings and protected monuments for the European Green Deal in particular. Furthermore, there will be a presentation on Weimar City Castle (Weimar Residenzschloss) which is part of the UNESCO world heritage site "Classical Weimar". Weimar City Castle is an exemplary project with a planned concept for its restoration and use that has already partially been implemented.

Multi-Generational World Heritage and Climate Protection

To overcome the challenges presented by climate change, it is essential to close ranks with the young generation. The symposium entitled "World.Heritage.Climate – World Heritage Sites and Their Significance for Climate-Friendly and Sustainable Development" will thus be looking into synergies between the climate protection goals of young people and those of world heritage sites. The aim is to contemplate world heritage together and come up with project ideas for sustainable and climate-friendly developments. The symposium will be hosted by the Monument Authority of Saxony (Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Sachsen), the Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development, the German UNESCO Commission, ICOMOS Germany and the Institute Heritage Studies.

Effects of Climate Change on Protected Monuments

Protected monuments are also suffering from the effects of climate change as they are subjected to increasingly extreme conditions such as heat, torrential rain, sinking water tables and drought. Solutions must be found for protected monuments so they can be used in the most climate-friendly ways possible. This requires a detailed analysis of the available options to ensure that protected monuments can continue to be preserved, used and sustainably operated under changing climate conditions. A closer look at this range of topics will be taken at the conference on "Monuments for Future – Monument Conservation in Times of Climate Change" organised by the Fraunhofer Information Centre for Regional Planning and Building Construction (Fraunhofer IRB), the Association of State Monument Conservationists in the Federal Republic of Germany (VDL) and the International Association for Science and Technology of Building Maintenance and Monuments Preservation (WTA).

A series of lectures at the CULTURAL HERITAGE Forum (KULTURERBE Forum) will be offering insights into damage to protected monuments caused by climate change. Using real-life examples, experts will explain how drought and floods can affect cultural heritage sites. In addition, two research projects will be presented. "Cultural Heritage Protection Against Flooding“ (CHEF) looks at protective measures in advance of flood disasters and "Kleiner 40" analyses the effect of global climate change on cultural heritage in Germany. At a lecture entitled "Cultural Heritage and Climate Change: Monument Protection is Active Climate Protection", the German National Committee for Monument Protection (DNK) will report on its current activities. In a second lecture, the DNK will present its "Alliance Initiative to Protect Historical Gardens in a Changing Climate".

At the denkmal Forum, there will be a lecture on the devastating flood disaster in the Ahr valley and the ongoing rebuilding. The Historical Ahr Valley Association (Verein Historisches Ahrtal) is providing a very special kind of rebuilding support. For about a year now, it has been working in various ways to help with the professional restoration of the many timbre-framed houses to ensure sustainable reconstruction. The association will be giving a lecture to report on its progress.

All Aspects of Cultural Heritage Conservation

Numerous additional events on the denkmal conference programme will also be looking at different aspects of climate change and sustainability. The Association of Restorers (VDR) is offering insights into the topic of cultural heritage in a wider context and trade professionals at the event will be able to see inside the cultural heritage emergency container belonging to the Cologne Emergency Association for Archives and Libraries (Kölner Notfallverbund). There will also be presentations on sustainable and energy-efficient insulation and building materials.

Alongside climate change, many more current and exciting topics will be in the spotlight. Visitors can expect programme items on immaterial cultural heritage as well as on industrial heritage and postmodernism, for example. At a number of award ceremonies, achievements in monument conservation and restoration will be honoured, and even highly specialised subjects such as the research project by the Evangelical Church in Central Germany on mould in organs will be on the agenda.

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Felix Wisotzki
Press Spokesperson
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